Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Transfer Of Power | Racial Justice

SDSU Device Simulates Earthquakes

Photo caption:


(Photo: SDSU Unveils New Earthquake “Shaking Table.” The table is used by the school’s structural engineering lab as a teaching and research tool. Ed Joyce/KPBS News )

San Diego State University has created a machine  that can simulate a 9.0 earthquake. KPBS Environmental Reporter Ed Joyce tells us what's shaking and why it's important.

Officials at San Diego State University showed off their "shaking table" which can recreate the exact motion of any previous earthquake. 

The table simulated an 8.0 magnitude quake to see if a large piece of medical equipment could survive.

Engineering Professor Robert Dowell says the test showed the medical device would continue to work properly after such a quake. 

Dowell says the shaking table is used to help engineers understand how earthquakes affect buildings and the stuff inside them.

Dowell: The shaking table is going to change seismic codes of buildings and building components in California, as well as across the world and the United States.

Dowell and SDSU students built the indoor shaking table which is also used as a teaching tool in the school's structural engineering lab.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.